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August 31, 2019

People from all walks of life mark Kashmir Solidarity Hour


August 31, 2019

Political leaders and workers, teachers and students, government servants and people from all walks of life observed Kashmir Solidarity Hour on Friday on the call of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Sindh Governor Imran Ismail addressed a large crowd at the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam. Federal Minister Faisal Vawda, renowned cricketer Shahid Afridi and various lawmakers were also present on the occasion where the national anthem was played and prayers offered for the freedom of Kashmir.

Addressing the rally, the governor said the nation had responded positively to the PM’s call to observe Kashmir Solidarity Hour. The government, armed forces and entire nation were standing by their Kashmiri brethren, he added.

Ismail informed the gathering that the government was raising the Kashmir issue on every international forum. We want to make it clear to the whole world that the Pakistani nation would always stand by Kashmiri people in their struggle for self-determination, he said.

He called for the international community to play its due role to stop Indian atrocities in Kashmir because peace in the region was not possible without the resolution of the Kashmir issue. He specifically asked the United Nations to interfere and force India to resolve the Kashmir problem. The time of Kashmir’s freedom is near, the governor remarked.

CM’s message

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ai Shah expressed solidarity with the people of Indian-held Kashmir and urged international forces to raise their voice against the violation of human rights by the Indian government in the area.

He said the people of Kashmir had been struggling for their right to self-determination since the last 60 years and instead of holding plebiscite in Kashmir, the Indian government amended its constitution and balkanised the occupied Kashmir.

“This balkanisation is not acceptable to the people of Pakistan and the international community, particularly those who uphold human rights,” he said. Recalling the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan which eventually resulted in the disintegration of the USSR, the CM said the Indian move to make Kashmir its part would end up in the disintegration of India. “The dream of Greater India is bound to shatter and the root cause of its shattering would be Kashmir and its valiant people.”

PPP announces rally

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) announced that it would hold a march for Kashmir on September 6 from Merewether Tower to the Karachi Press Club and all the political parties would be invited to attend it.

Addressing a news conference on Friday, Sindh Information and Labour Minister Saeed Ghani said it was high time that the world realised the atrocities being committed by India against the people of the occupied part of Kashmir.

He said all the countries should be urged to take a firm action against India for revoking the autonomous status of occupied Kashmir as it had earlier been enshrined in the Indian constitution.

He said that status-quo regarding the situation of Kashmir, which had been maintained for the last 70 years, was changed all of a sudden within one month. The PPP leader said when India had revoked the special constitutional status of the occupied Kashmir, it was expected from the PM that he would meet different heads of states to apprise them of the situation.

He also lamented that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi did not visit any country except China after the Indian move and no forceful effort was made by him to plead the case of the Kashmiri people before the international community.

He said the present rulers should show courage in the manner exhibited by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to effectively present the case of Kashmir to the world.

Adviser to the Sindh CM on Law Barrister Murtaza Wahab was also present on the occasion who said the PPP had always effectively raised the Kashmir issue at the relevant global forums.

MQM-P holds eight rallies

Marking Kashmir Hour, the Mutahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan organised rallies at eight different locations in the city, where the party leaders condemned the atrocities of Indian forces in the occupied Kashmir and slammed the Indian government’s move to strip the Kashmir of its special status in the Indian Constitution.

The MQM-P’s central event was held at the Civic Centre on University Road while the rest of the rallies were held in Ayesha Manzil, Power House, Korangi No 5, Malir Kala Board, Shershah Chorangi and other areas.

At the main event, MQM-P Convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, who is also the federal minister for information technology, said residents of Karachi had shown today that they were with the people of the occupied Kashmir.

He said that Bharatiya Janata Party’s government in India had unleashed a reign of terror on the people of the occupied Kashmir. “The conspiracy has been hatched to convert Kashmiris into a minority in their own area.”

MQM-P Senior Deputy Convener Aamir Khan and Karachi Mayor Syed Wasim Akhtar also spoke to the rally’s participants.

At the event in Ayesha Manzil, MQM-P MNA Syed Aminul Haque said Kashmir was neither an issue of border nor something that was an internal matter of India. It is an issue regarding incomplete partition of India and has been on the UN agenda for the past 72 years, he asserted.

PTI march

Many leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf attended the central event at Mazar-e-Quaid. However, the party also held a march from Karachi to Hyderabad led by PTI Sindh president Haleem Adil Shaikh.

Addressing people at various places, Shaikh said the whole nation had come out of their homes on the PM’s call to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir. Calling Bilawal ‘junior Zardari’, Shaikh said he had not issued even a single statement in favour of Kashmiri people. He said the Sindh government also did not hold any event on the occasion.

JI censures curfew

Addressing a rally of students to express solidarity with Kashmiris, Jamaat-e-Islami Karachi Emir Hafiz Naeemur Rehman called for the Pakistan Army to take action to help Kashmiris in their struggle for liberation.

The movement of Kashmiris would force the Indian government to surrender, he said. He decried the curfew imposed in Indian-held Kashmir since the last 24 days and lamented that the Muslim Ummah had kept silence over the issue.

Schoolgirls voice support

Students of the Zindagi Trust’s Fatima Jinnah Government Girls School also condemned the Indian atrocities in Kashmir as they stood together on the ground to form the inscription, ’We stand with Kashmir’.

Zindagi Trust founder Shahzad Roy was also present on the occasion. He said as many as 2,500 girls of the school lined up to form the letters. He added that when girls were asked to take rest as they had been standing in sunlight for some time, one of them replied that they felt fortunate to be able to attend school because in Kashmir, ailing girls even could not go to hospitals.

Roy expressed the hope that leaders of the world would pay heed to the voice of the girl students and others and play their role to stop inhumane treatment of Kashmiris by the Indian forces.

Educational institutions

Students and faculty members of public and private schools, colleges and universities also observed the Kashmir Solidarity Hour as they held rallies and seminars to create awareness about the Kashmir issue.

A large number of students of private schools gathered in Liaquatabad to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir. The rally was organised by the Education Program, a private organisation that works for promoting education in underdeveloped areas. The organisation’s head, Navid Memon Gaya, said the teachers of private schools should make their students aware about the Kashmir issue and the Indian brutality against the innocent people of Kashmir.

The Board of Intermediate Education and the Board of Secondary Education Karachi also held programmes to support Kashmiris and the government policy on the Kashmir issue.

Faculty members and students of the Indus University, Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology, Iqra University, Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (Fuuast), University of Karachi (KU), Dow University of Health Sciences, Benazir Bhutto Shaheed University Lyari, NED University of Engineering and Technology, and others also held seminars to show their support for the people of Kashmir.

At the KU event, Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi along with teachers and students formed a chain of human hands to express solidarity with Kashmiris after the national anthem of Pakistan and the state anthem of Kashmir was played.

Later, the participants walked from the Administration Block till the Azadi Chowk and raised slogans in favour of Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.

At Fuuast, Registrar Dr Muhammad Sarim said the entire nation was united against India. “We support our armed forces and government on the Kashmir issue,” he added.

SSUET Chancellor Jawaid Anwar addressed an event at the varsity. He said they had all gathered to show solidarity with Kashmiris and to give them message that they were not alone at the crucial time. He lamented that people of Indian-held Kashmir were facing a scarcity of food and medicines and even lifesaving drugs were not available for them.

Addressing a rally on Sharea Faisal held by students and teachers of Mohammad Ali Jinnah University (Maju), Maju President Prof Dr Zubair Shaikh said it was their moral obligation to raise voice against oppression anywhere in the world, adding that they had come to the streets to show solidarity with the oppressed people of Kashmir.

The Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi also observed the hour at its main campus. The teaching and non-teaching staff of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto University of Law held a demonstration at the Lilly-Bridge signal to support the residents of Indian-occupied Kashmir.

Doctors raise voice

The Kashmir Solidarity Hour was observed with great enthusiasm and zeal at the major medical institutions, hospitals and medical varsities in Karachi where not only the doctors, nurses, paramedics and staff but also the patients and their attendants participated in demonstrations and vowed to support the struggle of their Kashmiri brethren for their right to self-determination.

Responding to the appeal of the PM to express solidarity with Kashmiris on Friday noon, doctors, paramedics, nurses as well as a large number of patients gathered at open spaces of major hospitals, including the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) and Dr Ruth KM Pfau Civil Hospital to show their commitment to the Kashmir issue. Students of the Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) also held a procession to support their Kashmiri brethren.

One of the largest demonstrations was held at the JPMC which was attended by a large number of doctors and other staff who chanted slogans such as “Kashmir Baney Ga Pakistan [Kashmir will become a party of Pakistan]”, “Kashmir wants freedom” and “Pakistan Zindabad” and demanded that the Indian government end its atrocities against the innocent Kashmiri people.

Waving Pakistani flags, the participants sang the national anthem at 12 noon in front of the administration building of the JPMC and chanted slogans against the Indian government, Indian forces as well as the United Nations and world powers for their failure to end atrocities in Kashmir.

Stating that Indian siege and clampdown in Kashmir was leading to ‘worst humanitarian crisis’ in the recent history of the world, JPMC Executive Director Dr Seemin Jamali said it was feared that thousands of patients, including women and children, would be in a dire need of medical assistance due to over two weeks of siege and curfew in the occupied region where people were not being allowed even to seek medical help.

“In an area [where] over 10 million people [live], thousands of people are daily required to visit hospitals for their medical needs including young children and elderly people but the Indian forces are busy in committing history’s worst atrocities against unarmed people,” Dr Jamali said.

Meanwhile, hundreds of students and faculty members of the DUHS held a rally on main MA Jinnah Road to observe Kashmir Solidarity Hour. The demonstration was led by Vice Chancellor Prof Saeed Quraishy and attended by many senior professors and faculty members of the varsity.

Staff of the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) also held a procession led by Chief Operating Officer Azra Maqsood from the NICVD main building to Rafiqui Shaheed Road. The participants carried banners inscribed with slogans against Indian cruelties and human rights violations in the occupied region.

“The Kashmir hour being observed at the NICVD is meant to show solidarity with the Kashmiri people and sent the Kashmiris in Indian-occupied Kashmir a clear message that the entire Pakistani nation stands in solidarity with them and against the Indian fascist oppression and inhumane 26-day curfew,” NICVD Executive Director Prof Nadeem Qamar said in his message.

Staff and employees of several other health facilities, including the Indus Hospital Network, National Institute of Child Health (NICH) and some private hospitals also held demonstrations to mark Kashmir Solidarity Hour.

Businessmen join the cause

A delegation of businessmen called on the governor at the Governor House to discuss the burning issue of Kashmir. The delegation included Khalid Tawab, Noor-ur-Rehman, Abdul Majeed, Shaheen Sarwana, Saud Rehman and others.

Ismail appealed to the overseas business community of Pakistanis to play an effective role to stop Indian atrocities in the occupied Kashmir. He said the UN must fulfil expectations of innocent Kashmiri people and resolve the issue.

The traders on the occasion strongly condemned the Indian terrorism in Kashmir. They said they completely supported the PM’s vision for the Kashmir issue.

NAB and police events

Along with the general public, the Karachi police also observed Kashmir Solidarity Hour. Sindh Inspector General of Police Dr Syed Kaleem Imam along with all the officers and staff of the Central Police Office (CPO) came out of their offices and gathered at the CPO lawn to pay tribute to the sacrifices of the Kashmiri people.

Additional IG Karachi Ghulam Nabi Memon along with Administration DIG Asim Qaimkhani and other senior police officials staged a protest on main Sharea Faisal to express solidarity with the oppressed Kashmiris.

Traffic movement was also stopped on Sharea Faisal for five minutes. A large number of citizens, including schoolgoing children, joined the police officials and shouted slogans in support of Kashmiris.

The hour was also observed in zonal, district and police station levels across the province, particularly in Karachi where the police also distributed flags of Pakistan and Kashmir among the people.

Events were also held by the traffic police and the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) to support Kashmiris.

The National Accountability Bureau Karachi also held a procession to show solidarity with the people of Kashmir. Addressing the procession, the NAB Karachi director general said Kashmir was the lifeline of Pakistan and the sacrifices of Kashmiris will not go in vain.